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Thursday, 16 August 2012 11:41

Missile Defense Agency Warned Not to View Porn — Duh

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An article in The Washington Times (WT) Aug. 10, 2012 reminded readers that U.S. bureaucrats viewing porn on government computers were compromising U.S. security. The article continued by noting that the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) warned its staff not to view porn on U.S. government computers and that “President Obama, notified of the problem after a previous scandal, failed to address the problem.”

MDA Executive Director John James, Jr. told Bloomberg, Aug. 2, “The seriousness of the potential breach to operations cannot be overstated.” 

The problem is not a new one. In 2006, according to WT, the deputy press secretary for Department of Homeland Security was arrested on a porn charge. He attempted an online seduction of who he thought was a teenage girl. The article also cited a 2010 occurrence at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — 31 employees were caught having accessed porn since 2008, 17 of them were senior staff. The same year, senior Pentagon staff members were found to have viewed the sexual torture of small children.

Bloomberg gave these details about the latest warning to the MDA. Director James issued a July 27 memo stating: “Specifically, there have been instances of employees and contractors accessing websites, or transmitting messages, containing pornographic or sexually explicit images. These actions are not only unprofessional, they reflect time taken away from designated duties, are in clear violation of federal and DoD and [sic] regulations, consume network resources and can compromise the security of the network though the introduction of malware or malicious code.” 

The idea of tax-funded government employees using tax-funded government equipment to access porn instead of doing their jobs is repugnant to most people. But the act of viewing vile Internet content isn’t the only issue. Bloomberg’s article noted that an anonymous government cybersecurity specialist said, “that many pornographic websites are infected and criminals and foreign intelligence services such as Russia’s use them to gain access to and harvest data from government and corporate computer networks." That is particularly egregious since the MDA, employer of more than 8000 people, is responsible for developing and upgrading U.S. ground and sea-based missile defense programs.

But agency spokesman Rick Lehner said the memo was written as a response to “a few people downloading material from some websites that were known to have had virus and malware issues, and that the agency’s network was never compromised."

In a statement that appeared to excuse the employees’ behavior, the Pentagon inspector general criticized Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, MDA director, for abusive behavior toward subordinates that was revealed in a May 2 report. “Witnesses testified that O’Reilly’s leadership style resulted in a command climate of fear and low morale,” the inspector general found.

James noted the disciplinary actions to be taken in the agency. Individuals identified as violating the rules put “their security clearances in jeopardy, and are subject to suspension and removal from federal service or MDA sponsored contracts. Network systems are subject to monitoring at all times. Inappropriate usage will be detected and reported to supervisors for appropriate disciplinary action.” 

But, the WT article opined that in view of previous violations, “The White House needed to order an in-depth and urgent investigation into porn, child porn and prostitution in all government agencies. So grave and unpatriotic is this violation, it might border on treason. Yet Mr. Obama remains unconcerned. Members of Congress are so alarmed by the president’s behavior that they recently passed an amendment preventing the administration from sharing missile-defense technology with Russia. The Missile Defense Agency may have done so already.”

Indeed, critics add that it reveals a special kind of hubris for government employees to engage in this behavior, but altogether another for the executive to ignore it.

 

1 comment

  • Comment Link REMant Thursday, 16 August 2012 17:26 posted by REMant

    People in DC and in LA share a common immorality. But I tempted to add that it's better to make love than war.

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